Union Township NJ Man Arrested for Allegedly Murdering Girlfriend, Man’s Mother Accused of Cover-Up
By Travis Tormey posted in Homicide on Thursday, October 31, 2013
A mother and son have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Cranford NJ woman.
43-year-old Matthew Ballister of Union Township NJ has been accused of murdering his 43-year-old girlfriend, April Wyckoff.
Mr. Ballister’s mother, 70-year-old Mountainside NJ resident Eleanor Schofield, has been charged with hindering the police investigation of Ms. Wyckoff’s death. Yesterday, Ms. Schofield appeared in front of a judge in Union County Superior Court.
Police believe that Ms. Schofield concealed evidence on behalf of her son, who allegedly murdered Ms. Wyckoff in his residence on October 22. The mother-son twosome was arrested the following day, prior to the discovery of Ms. Wyckoff’s body.
A number of law enforcement agencies conducted a multiple-day search in Essex County, Hudson County, and Union County. The search led investigators to remnants of Ms. Wyckoff’s body, found near the 100 block of Raymond Boulevard in Newark NJ, close to the Passaic River. Ms. Wyckoff’s vehicle was recovered near a Newark-area intersection.
Mr. Ballister has been charged with the murder of Ms. Wyckoff. Meanwhile, Ms. Schofield faces charges for hindering apprehension.
In New Jersey, murder is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3. The statute stipulates that criminal homicide is a crime of the first degree, the most egregious under the New Jersey Criminal Code. Generally, a crime of the first degree is punishable by a period of between 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, because murder is considered the most serious offense in the state’s Criminal Code, a person convicted of the crime of murder is subject to a sentence of life imprisonment, with a minimum of 30 years that must be served before the person is eligible for parole.
Murder Charges Union County NJ
At a hearing in Union County Superior Court, a judge set Mr. Ballister’s bail at $2 million.
For more information, access the NJ.com article entitled “Body of Missing Cranford Woman Found in Newark, Prosecutors Said.”